xxxNews Of The Weirdxxx
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
A March Wall Street Journal story reported on the growing number of churches that have introduced services aimed at improving the lives, and chances for salvation, of parishioners’ pets (at least in part under the belief that some former worshipers would return to church if it were more “relevant,” such as by offering prayers for protection from fleas). In some places, clergy accompany parishioners to pet euthanizations, or hold “bark mitzvahs,” or dispense Holy Communion to dogs.
In April, Rocky Sanchez, 36, a former civic award-winner in El Monte, Calif., was sentenced to 1,002 years in prison on 41 felony counts, including the rape and torture of his wife, with the long sentence reflecting the fact that any one of the counts was Sanchez’s sentence-enhancing “third strike.” Under California law, however, if his wife had died during the attack, Sanchez might have received only about 50 years. (That’s because he would be subject instead to the capital murder statute and might have gotten life without parole, but then again, he might have gotten the death penalty.)
In Denver in May, a 13-year-old girl, who was sometimes taunted by classmates because she has a small right arm and leg from cerebral palsy, was threatened with a knife and had her hair set on fire by a seventh-grade boy, but after the incident was reported, officials at Martin Luther King Middle School sent her home for the rest of the school year (for her protection, they said) while the boy remained in class. (The school’s interim principal admitted several days later that her staff had botched the investigation.)
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Copyright © 2001 by Chuck Shepherd
NEWS OF THE WEIRD